Piranha Plant (SSBU)/Down aerial
Piranha Plant quickly flips and strikes downwards with its pot/pipe. Piranha Plant's only meteor smash move, and the third fastest conventional meteor smash in the game, at frame 9, being beaten out by Little Mac's down aerial and Mii Gunner's Cannon Jump Kick. The meteor hitbox is disjointed from the pot, and combined with the flip's hurtbox shifting, makes it a formidable move offstage. However, its biggest drawback is the hitbox is out-prioritized by the hitbox with the Sakurai angle, requiring good spacing at the tip of the pot/pipe in order to meteor smash opponents. Even then, the non-meteor hitbox is still capable of KOing offstage at high percents, and it possesses a late hit for more room for error and continuing edgeguards.
Onstage, the aerial's use diminishes greatly, simply due to having the highest landing lag of all of Piranha Plant's aerials, at 18 frames. This makes it incredibly unsafe to use, combined with its lacking horizontal range. However, the meteor hitbox can be used to combo grounded opponents into an up smash kill, or up air/Ptooie at higher percents, and the hitbox with the Sakurai angle including the late hit can set up for jablocks or tech chases. It can also be used as a niche out-of-shield option that hits low, however should be used sparingly due to its high landing lag and inability to short hop autocancel.
As a landing option, can be somewhat useful thanks to its disjoint, hurtbox shifting and 6 active frames as a result of having a late hit, and can be a method of getting KOs with down aerial to up smash, up air or Ptooie, although generally neutral aerial is a better landing option due to having double the active frames, less landing lag and coming out a frame faster. It also has minor use from a ledge drop double jump, as if done perfectly, it can autocancel upon landing, making it deceptively safe if used right, however the lacking horizontal range hampers this usage substantially, making it only good for opponents that are close to the ledge.
- Down aerial's clean hit is active for longer (9-10/11-14 → 9-11/12-14).
- The move's hitboxes are coded as extended hitboxes despite not actually extending, which prevents them from interpolating.